Morocco’s role is fundamental for Spain and Europe – The North Africa Post

The crucial role of Morocco in the management of migratory flows towards Spain and Europe was underlined during the meeting of the Moroccan-Spanish Joint Permanent Group on Migration, convened on Friday in Rabat and in the comments of officials and experts at the outcome of this meeting.

Commentators have also pointed out that Morocco, which bears the brunt of illegal migration, is adopting a comprehensive and effective approach to combating the phenomenon.

In this regard, the Spanish Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Pérez Ruiz, said that the commitment of Spain and Morocco to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation on migration is an “example to follow”.

“We are neighboring countries and strategic partners, and our daily work together has been an example, especially in the area of ​​controlling migratory flows and combating human trafficking networks,” said Rafael Pérez in a statement issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior. following the Rabat meeting.

“We firmly believe that the best option to meet this challenge is bilateral cooperation with countries of origin and with those who share the same challenge,” he added.

Pérez Ruiz highlighted the collaboration mechanisms that have proven their “operational effectiveness” in recent years, namely the joint maritime, land and air patrols of the Guardia Civil and the Royal Gendarmerie, the exchange of information and police collaboration to dismantle human trafficking networks, and the establishment of police cooperation centers in Tangier and Algeciras.

For his part, the Spanish Secretary of State for Migration, Jesus Perea Cortijo, stressed the need to continue supporting regular migration programs as a strategic objective for Spain and the European Union.

The Spanish official stressed the importance of training and integration in this field as well as the need to improve access routes for Moroccan students wishing to continue their university studies in Spain.

As for the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs, Angeles Moreno Bau, she welcomed the resumption of the permanent bilateral dialogue on migration.

The meeting held in Rabat is the first tangible implementation of the joint declaration adopted during the visit of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, to Morocco on April 7, she said, adding that the meeting discussed means of controlling irregular migratory flows, safeguarding the interests of Moroccan minors in Spain, regulating regular migration.

The meeting also addressed the facilitation of visa formalities, she said, noting the quantitative and qualitative efforts made by the Spanish consular services in Morocco to simplify and speed up visa procedures.

In a related development, the director of the Center for Hispano-Moroccan Studies, Miguel Angel Puyol, highlighted Morocco’s role in the fight against illegal immigration, saying that the North African country takes a global and humanist approach. for the benefit of Spain and Europe.

“Morocco’s role in the management of migratory flows is very important. Morocco, which also bears the burden of illegal migration, is adopting a comprehensive and effective approach,” Puyol said after the meeting of the Moroccan-Spanish Joint Permanent Group on Migration.

The conclusions of this meeting, which confirmed the will of the two countries to move forward in their relations, will give new impetus to a “necessary and beneficial” cooperation for Spain and all of Europe, explained Puyol.

“In addition to Spain, the European Union is also called upon to support and assist Morocco in the management of this global phenomenon with multinational dimensions”, added the expert, affirming that joint action is fundamental to curb the maneuvers illegal immigration mafias.

The president of the Center for Hispano-Moroccan Studies welcomed the resumption of the “Marhaba” operation, scheduled for this summer after two years of interruption due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

This is a large-scale operation which has an important human component linking two friendly and neighboring peoples, he said.

The Spanish expert in Maghreb affairs, Javier Fernandez Arribas, for his part stressed that permanent collaboration between Spain and Morocco in the management of migratory flows is “essential and indispensable”.

Urging the European Union to provide more support to the two countries to tackle a global problem, he said the EU must play its role as an essential partner when it comes to providing the technical, human and financial resources. necessary to deal with a phenomenon that involves beings (…) who face the consequences of conflict, poverty, drought or repression”.

The agreements reached at the Rabat meeting are of great importance with regard to the strengthening of coordination and information exchange mechanisms, police cooperation centers, liaison officers and joint patrols”, noted Arribas.

“Relations between Spain and Morocco are strategic and encompass all areas of common interest, including security cooperation, the fight against terrorism and cooperation in the management of illegal immigration,” added the expert.

According to figures disclosed during the Permanent Moroccan-Spanish Group on Migration meeting Friday in Rabat under the chairmanship of the Director of Migration and Border Surveillance at the Ministry of the Interior, Khalid Zerouali, and the Spanish Secretary of State for migration, Jesus Perea Cortijo, Moroccan authorities foiled thousands of illegal migration attempts during 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, including 14,746 in the first three months of the current year alone. Similarly, some 256 criminal human and migrant smuggling networks were dismantled during this period, including 52 during the first quarter of 2022.

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